Nothing changes in the LHW division — and that’s EXACTLY what everyone wanted

Posted: March 10, 2014 in Commentary/Opinion

gustafsson1Alexander Gustafsson did exactly what was expected of him Saturday night. He entered the contest as the #1 contender, and that’s exactly where he was when he left. For not moving at all, it had to be a huge sigh of relief for Gus and from the UFC. Having Gustafsson fight jeopardized the much anticipated rematch with champ Jon Jones.

With the impressive second round knockout of Jimi Manuwa, The Mauler is again set to face Jones next—well, unless Glover Teixeira beats Jones; then we’ve got a real mess on our hands. This means Daniel Cormier will have to ease off the gas pedal in his quest to goad Jones into a fight first.

As we’ve discussed many times before, the light heavyweight division is the most tenuous in the UFC. That’s because A) Jones has already defeated all the former champs like a hot knife through butter, and B) because there aren’t enough legitimate contenders coming up replace all the ones Bones is destroying.

Gustafsson is currently ranked #1 contender based on his incredible fight with Jones last year. But guess how many top 10 fighters he’s defeated in his career? One – Shogun Rua. I suppose that’s not too bad considering #2 (Teixeira) has never defeated a top 10 fighter. Was Bader top 10? I don’t even know; or care. But the fact that we’re considering if Bader is top 10 is enough to support my claim. Cormier is next in the order and there are no questions at all here—he hasn’t fought anyone in the top 25 at LHW.

So the plan is to protect the contenders until a “new and improved” 205 pound division evolves. That could take a while. Especially when you consider that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Chael Sonnen, Rua and Dan Henderson are all still in the top 10. But after Saturday night, we now know the lineup for Jones—it’s Teixeira, Gustafsson, Cormier with the Phil Davis, Anthony Johnson winner also entering the mix.

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  1. […] Nothing changes in the LHW division – and that’s EXACTLY what everyone wanted […]

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